Podcastingwith Skype for the Linux types

Ever since Skype upgraded its Linux client from the 1.X series to 2.X and introduced new features, plus compliance with the ALSA sound system, nobody has been able to record skype sound for podcasting. I’ve wanted to use Skype for a while exactly for this purpose.

Well, problem solved! Some clever folks have setup a SourceForge open-source project for Skype tools, including (as a first tool) a skype recorder. You can get the source code here:


For those of you using Ubuntu Gutsy, or any linux distro using qt-4 version <= 4.3, you need to fix a file in QT4 in order to compile the project. See my fix here:


Otherwise, it seems to work. The key is that this program actually uses the Skype API in order to talk to the program. No more snooping on the sound device in order to grab all the audio. It seems to work just fine, and I already recorded a little chat with the “Skype Call Testing Service” in OGG format.

Yay! Could “The Two-Body Problem” be returning soon?

Go Human with Dell

Well, it finally happened . . . again! Dell has officially begun shipping several desktop and laptop options with linux pre-installed. Yay! Today, the terrorists have officially lost a battle.

<a href=”http://www.ubuntulinux.org/”>Ubuntu Linux</a> is the installation of choice. Based on the huge Debian Linux community, with strong customer support and a super-easy installation (does it from one CD), this is great.  I recently abandoned Fedora Linux for my laptop, and migrated my desktop to Ubuntu 7. So far, I have been extremely happy with the seamless operation of the desktop and applications, as well as the continued ease which which software is found and installed. Happy penguin experiences are nice.

You can get your own super-cheap Dell from the Ubuntu Dell site: <a href=”http://www.ubuntulinux.org/dell”>http://www.ubuntulinux.org/dell</a>. That’s right – why install Ubuntu when you can have Mike do it for you?

What will come of this? Who knows.  This whole affair was spawned by the Dell IdeaStorm website, where requests for Linux were about 30% of the top 10 requests made by visitors to the site. Dell then turned around and said to Microsoft: “See? We have to supply linux as an installation option because consumers demand it.” For year, Balmer and Gates have said that the reason that linux isn’t taking off is lack of consumer demand. Dell has evidence to the contrary, and if it moves more retail, so be it.

Of course, Dell did this once before (but without the survey to back it up). They tried a brief stint with RedHat Linux about five years ago, which flopped. Why did it flop? There are many possible reasons, including demand and pressure from Redmond. Let’s focus on the now, I guess.


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